Beginners often ask me what they can do to help them stay on their Jiu Jitsu journey longer. Four pieces of advice:
1. No one is perfect.
Accept the fact that no one is perfect. I'm not. You're not. No one is.
Phew, with that load off of our shoulders, we can relax, be kind to ourselves, and enjoy the learning process (Jiu Jitsu is challenging enough ... we don't need to make it harder). Setting unrealistic expectations and stressing yourself out will only increase your chances of burning out.
(Part of the human condition is being imperfect and learning how to deal with it. We can strive (and should) for perfection ... knowing that it's unattainable ... but using it as a target / a point of reference.)
Jiu Jitsu gives everyone the opportunity to practice gettting out of their "life is going to be perfect" mindset and into being an optimal-ist state of mind --> constantly working to make the best of any situation you face.
Every brown and black belt started as a beginner in Jiu Jitsu. We all had to start at the beginning ... day 1. Embrace this part of your journey and know that in 6, 12, and 18 months from now, you'll still have challenges and obstacles - but it won't ALL be new and unknown.
Common examples of a perfectionist's mindset:
A. Trying a move 3x and saying it doesn't work as opposed to saying, I don't have it yet ... but I'll get it with practice, patience, and a good attitude.
B. Learning a move in class and then when training (later the same day / 15 min. later) trying the move, it doesn't work and then becoming disullisioned / frustrated. A more realistic perspective is that when you learn a new technique, appreciating that going to take 6 to 9 months before you'll be able to do it in live training (aka. "in the wild").
C. Seeing someone who's been training consistently and faily hard for 18 months physically hit the mat and express their anger / frustration to tapping to someone who's been training for over 10 years. The beginner is setting an unfair measure of success. S/he should be competing against her / his self (tracking growth and improvement) not focusing on beating someone with more than 6x the training experience / mat smarts.
2. Find the joy and have fun
Find the joy and have fun in the learning process and the community you're in. Be playful and have fun with your training. Jiu Jitsu is hard / challenging enough as it is (As a matter of fact, my coach, Professor Saulo Ribeiro says "Jiu Jitsu is made to make you quit. It's up to you to find a way to continue, to grow, and to become the best version of yourself in the midst of it"). Remember not to be too serious, find the fun in your daily training, and enjoy your training partners.
Jiu Jitsu is a fantastic journey and a great rehearsal for the challenges that life throws at us. It's a marathon (not a sprint) ... and it will ive you as much as you give it. Surrender to the process and enjoy the ride! ! !
3. Commit to consistency
Consistency is KING. Training consistently over a long period of time will always out perform training super intensely for a short period of time and burning out. Make your Jiu Jitsu training a baked-in part of your life. The secret is to train consistently (training 2 - 4x per week) for a long period of time (10 + years). If you can find a sustainable pace and know how to re-start when an interrupt occurs, you'll go a long ways in Jiu Jitsu. Make it a healthy habit. A black belt is a white belt that never quit.
Show up. Give your best effort. Go home. Repeat . Forever.
4. Be humble
Keep the mind of a beginner / the mind of a child. There will always be someone stronger than you. Faster than you. More technical than you. Who can tap you out. Always.
So what? Should that stop you from experiencing the joys of Jiu Jitsu and the joys of learning? Of course not!
Always look to learn, grow, and best your best. Now that you can always get better, you can always improve, and be comfortable in that realization.
If you stay humble and consistent, there will be no stopping you in your Jiu Jitsu journey (or life for that matter).
So, a question for you: How can you take these four tips and implement them into your training approach? What can you do today to increase your odds of training Jiu Jitsu longer?
Keep doing ... daily ... forever! ! !